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Making Successful Sales Calls

All businesses depend on finding new customers. One of the most important steps in this process is booking a meeting with your prospective client. Many people often make the mistake of trying to sell the product rather than the appointment during the first call. Here are some things that we have learned throughout the process of growing our business.

1) Always begin by asking if it is a good time. If it is not, set a time to call back. Make sure you have their undivided attention.

2) Be brief & get to the point quickly. Let them know you only have a second and are in a hurry: this is important as it keeps everyone focused and really helps when you are dealing with questions. For those of you who have the gift of gab – use the match test (light one when your prospect says hello – if you burn your finger then your call was too long).

3) Ask one or two questions to gauge interest and make a connection. Find out if they have a need. You are looking for a problem to solve. That solution is the value you offer.

Don’t forget to actually listen to what they say. I often forget to do this and have made a practice of repeating it back to them. It shows I listened and makes sure I understood as well.

4) Have your calendar ready with some available dates in mind to book the appointment.

5) Sell the appointment, not the product.

6) Confirm, Confirm, Confirm. Ask them to call you if they need to reschedule, and make sure you have all necessary contact info. Follow up with a Thank You email or message. I always send a meeting invite from Outlook. Email your prospect the morning of to confirm the meeting.

7) Have a great script, and practice it until it feels natural.

8) Smile! They can hear it even though they can’t see it.

9) Always ask for a referral from a no. I can’t tell you how many people have not been interested but actually knew someone who was. I could then call the new prospect using the original as a reference.

10) If you have to leave a message, this is the best phone message I have ever found and the only one I use today:

“Hi this is Shane Pearlman, I have a quick question for you. Please call me back at 555.555.5555. Talk to you then.”

I love it because curiosity will often drive them to call. And when they do, the first thing they say is, “What was the question?”, which is the perfect lead-in to setting my appointment. One tip – make sure you have a good question ready and memorized.

11) Know the common questions and objections, and practice some answers. You will quickly find that 95% of people will ask the same 5 or so questions. Questions are good – they mean that the prospect is thinking about what you have to offer. Don’t be afraid of them.

I also tend to try to limit the number of questions to 3. If they keep having questions, I let them know that I have to wrap it up and will answer all their questions during our appointment. After 3 of their questions it’s my turn, and I always have a question prepared to regain control of the conversation.

12) Always look for a place to give an honest compliment.

13) More important than anything listed above is your attitude. Know you are in the right place doing the right thing. Know your product. Know why you are in the business you are in. That knowledge is the foundation for excitement and passion. Passion is the difference between people who succeed and everyone else.

Resources to Learn More

How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling  

How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling by Frank Bettger

Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness  

Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness by Jeffrey Gitomer